Lifeshield Security ReviewBy - 08/16/2017
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The Bottom Line
Protection & Equipment
LifeShield’s security system relies primarily on broadband, which means you’ll need high-speed internet in order for it to work. However, the base station LifeShield uses actually supports four communication methods.
Broadband is the primary means of communication for LifeShield Home Security. Although not considered the most reliable communication method for home security, broadband is the fastest method of communication.
The second communication layer is cellular, used by our top alarm companies. Cellular is considered the safest form of communication as it’s not prone to disruptions and there are no wires to cut. The cellular chip needed for this to work is built into the LifeShield base station.
If the cellular signal fails or if it’s too weak to communicate, the third layer kicks in: text messaging. If all else fails, the base station can use your landline, assuming you have one. While this final method is the traditional communication method for home security systems, it’s far from reliable. Landlines are prone to disruptions and burglars can use wire-cutters to disable communication. Not relying solely on a landline is a good move by LifeShield.
Aside from the base station’s multiple means of communication, it’s also equipped with 24-hour battery backup. With or without internet or power, the LifeShield security system can continue protecting you for up to a day.
Another great feature is possible thanks to the base station is Smash & Crash Protection. This feature protects the LifeShield base station from intruders who find and destroy your base station. With Smash & Crash Protection, the base station will send a soft alert to the monitoring center the moment the intruder breaks in. The soft alert will become an active alert if the disarm PIN isn’t entered within a set time limit. Even if the intruder destroys the base station, the monitoring center will receive the alert.
Monitoring & Equipment Pricing
LifeShield offers three monitoring plans, all of which include free equipment. The cheapest plan is Security Essential for $29.99/month. Next is Security Advantage for $39.99/month. And the most expensive package is Security Professional for $49.99/month.
All three monitoring plans cover intrusion, fire, and carbon monoxide monitoring. However, you’ll need additional equipment to take advantage of LifeShield’s fire and carbon monoxide monitoring. LifeShield sells their own Fire and CO Sensor, which works with some interconnected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors. If you already have an interconnected system of smoke alarms, you can add the sensor to integrate them with your new alarm system.
|Security Essential||Security Advantage||Security Professional|
|Fire and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring|
|Base Station||4-Layer Communication||4-Layer Communication||4-Layer Communication|
|Wireless Control Tablet|
|Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor||1||2||2|
|Door & Window Sensors||4||6||8|
|Glass Break Sensor||1|
|Mobile App Access|
LifeShield’s equipment is easy to install, even without the help of professionals. Most of the devices that are compatible with their system are also wireless (except for the base station which requires power, Ethernet, and a landline connection), so there’s no need to run wires or drill into your walls. However, if you’re not capable of installing the system yourself, you can request professional installation. Be sure to hire a LifeShield-accredited installer as doing otherwise might void your system warranty. After professional installation, you must check your system thoroughly and report any problems to LiveWatch within seven days. On the 8th day, your system is considered fully operational, and service repair requests will then be billed.
- Free Equipment for Qualifying Customers
- Landline, Broadband, and Cellular Monitoring in one base station
- 24/7 Monitoring for Burglaries, Fires, and Carbon Monoxide
- Proprietary Equipment
- 24-Hour Battery Backup
- DIY or Professional Installation
LifeShield doesn’t offer home automation equipment, but they offer ways to automate your security system through their free mobile app. The app allows you to take control of your home’s security remotely. In addition, you can use the app to view local crime maps and take a quiz to get your personal “safety score” alongside tips to improve your score.
LiveWatch’s interactive alerts allow for custom reminders. For example, “It’s 10:15 pm. You have not armed your alarm!” As you can arm and disarm the system remotely, this is extremely helpful. The system, unfortunately, does not offer geofencing.
LifeShield also offers video surveillance, assuming you’re subscribed to Security Advantage or Security Professional. The Security Advantage plan comes with one security camera while the Security Professional plan includes two. The camera is viewable via the LifeShield app or the wireless controller tablet included with every system. Also, the system is capable of alert-based recordings. You can configure it to start recording if a sensor is tripped or based on a schedule. Event clips are saved to the cloud. The Security Advantage plan offers 250MB of cloud storage, while the Security Professional plan offers 1GB (1,000MB) storage.
- Video Surveillance
- Free Mobile App
- Remote Arm/Disarm
- Lifeshield Does Not Offer Standard Home Automation
Customer Service & Support
The first thing you need to know about LifeShield’s customer service is that their history is too short to tell the story.
LifeShield functioned as its own entity before acquisition by DirecTV. DirecTV ran LifeShield for many years, before being acquired itself by AT&T. AT&T has their own security system: Digital Life. According to a press release, customer service became a problem post merger.
A spate of 2015-2016 negative reviews online suggest AT&T poorly managed LifeShield’s customer support. A horde of new rivals also emerged, such as Abode, Canary, Frontpoint, Iris by Lowe’s, Scout, SimpliSafe, and Vivint, which challenged and validated LifeShield as an alternative to the ADTs and Guardian Protection Services of the world…
So with LifeShield re-running solo, it’s hard to say how things will pan out. While the team behind LifeShield saw the AT&T acquisition as a negative for their customer service experience, we saw it as a positive as Digital Life offers a longer return period, shorter contract requirement (LifeShield contracts were often as long as 60 months), and an A+ rating with the BBB.
On the other hand, LifeShield is not known for customer service. They have a lower rating from BBB (B-) with hundreds of complaints and several reviews on the website. All are negative.
So while we have to wait to see how LifeShield does after branching out on their own again, we’ll focus on the terms and conditions you should know about before purchasing a system from LifeShield.
- Contract Length: In order to receive free equipment, you must sign a 36-month or 60-month contract. If you sign a longer contract, you’ll get a better deal.
- Cancellation: Contracts can be canceled for free if you’re called for duty as a member of the US armed forces or reserves. Otherwise, there will be a cancellation fee.
- Contract Renewal: Contracts automatically renew unless you send a written notice to LifeShield at least 60 days before your current contract ends.
- Return Policy: The return period for LifeShield has reverted back to 7 days from installation or activation of the system. Even if returned in time, a $50 restocking fee will be deducted from your refund.
All that said, LifeShield is known for running promotional packages. We’ve seen everything from free equipment to three months of free monitoring to a free tablet. If you decide that LifeShield is for you, we recommend waiting until they run a promotion.
- 7 Day Return Policy with $50 Restocking Fee
- Online Self-Help and Remote Assistance
- 3-year or 5-year Contracts
- Contract Auto-Renews
- Cancellation Fees Apply Unless Eligible For Free Cancellation
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